Kinvara 2 v. Kinvara 3

If you’ve read at least 2 of my blog posts in the past year, you’ll know that I’m a huge Saucony Kinvara fanatic. I started wearing the Kinvara in the spring last year and have already accumulated 6 pairs (and they’ve been so great about making enough colors so that I don’t have to buy the same color a second time!). I was really excited when a Saucony rep. reached out to me and let me know that I’d been selected as part of the 2nd “early tester” wave to provide feedback and generate hype for the new version of the shoe. I had a long day at work and arrived home to find a fresh white, yellow, and pink pair of Kinvaras waiting for me. I snapped a few photos of the new shoe in comparison to the Kinvara 2s for you to check out. (Their website does a great job of outlining the differences between the versions. I’m just adding my own take on it!)

The Flexifilm structure is completely different than previous models.

The lacing structure is classic on the K3s. I prefer the structure on the K2s, mostly because I have narrow feet.

Saucony kept the triangle lug structure, but changed the lugs on the outer rim.

The heel structure is probably the most striking on the bottom of the shoe.

All in all, I’m happy with the Kinvara 3s. I only have 40 miles on the new model, but each run has felt better and better. When I first laced them up and went out for a few miles to break them in, I immediately noticed that they are much firmer than the previous model. I’ve talked with a few runners who have decided not to wear the K2s because they are ‘squishy’ as compared to other ‘minimalist’ models. I wouldn’t necessarily call them squishy but I can understand why some runners may not like the soft feel. I assume Saucony took this feedback seriously and made the new model more firm because of it.

The other difference that has caused a bit of discomfort for me is the structure near the Achilles portion of the heel. The fabric and the structure in this area is soft and has a low rise on the K2s. The new version has a firm structure that doesn’t allow the foot to flex up and down (as if you were pointing your toe or pulling it back toward your shin). I’m not a fan of shoes that have a high rise near the ankle and the back structure of the Kinvara 3s have rubbed skin raw on long runs. [Note: I typically wear normal gold-toe ankle socks in the Kinvara 2s as opposed to ‘running socks’. I probably wouldn’t have had these rubbing issues in the Kinvara 3s if I wore running socks that have a tab on the back.]

I think the firm Kinvara 3s will help to make me a stronger runner and lead to some more PRs throughout the rest of 2012.

…maybe even this weekend at the Bayshore Half!

8 thoughts on “Kinvara 2 v. Kinvara 3

    • wewanderandponder says:

      Hey Britt! The K2s didn’t bother my heel as much as the K3s and I believe the heel bucket is deeper in the new model. The shape and structure of the back of the shoe has a different profile and caused my achilles area to rub during a 16 mile run. The material may even be the culprit as it’s not as soft/plush as the material on the K2. Does that help at all? (you should still try it out for yourself!)

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love my K2s, the most comfortable shoe I have ever owned. I use them for extensive, long distance trail walking mixed with a little running (4-20 miles distance). I have had very little traction issues with them even on steep, rocky descents. I tried the trail twin, Peregrines, but found them to be too stiff. With the change on the bottom lug patterns I wonder if they will be the same, more, or less grippy on the trail?

  2. Barbara says:

    Update? Bought enough K2s that I didn’t need to look at K3 until now… your heel comments worry me… nothing is more annoying… though I thought I remembered some people having issues with the K2s as well. Wondering how they ended up working out for you… or should I wait for the K4s? Hear they’re right around the corner.

    • Jenny says:

      I still prefer the K2s, but that doesn’t mean the K3s wouldn’t work for you, Barbara. I still have a pair laying around that I put on every now and then. Give the K3s a try and if they don’t work out, then look to buy the K4s on 5/1! Good luck!

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